Monday, August 22, 2011

Thai-Style Chicken with Basil

3 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed - divided
5 medium garlic cloves, peeled
9 green or red thai chiles, stemmed 0r 3 serranos or 1 medium jalapeno (I used 3/4 of a medium jalapeno to decrease spiciness)
3 Tbsp. fish sauce, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in to 2" pieces
5 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 1/3 cup)
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Red pepper flakes for serving, if desired

1. Process 1 1/2 cups basil leaves, garlic and chiles in food processor until finely chopped, 6-10 one second pulses, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once during processing. Transfer 1 1/2 Tbsp. basil mixture to small bowl and stir in 1 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and sugar; set aside. Transfer remaining basil mixture to 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet. Do not wash food processor bowl.

2. Pulse chicken and 1 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce in food processor until meat is chopped into approximate 1/4-inch pieces, six to eight 1-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.

3. Stir shallots and oil into basil mixture in skillet. Heat over medium-low heat (mixture should start to sizzle after about 1 1/2 mins.; if it doesn't, adjust heat accordingly), stirring constantly, until garlic and shallots are golden brown, 5-8 minutes.

4. Add chicken, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring and breaking up chicken with potato masher or rubber spatula, until only traces of pink remain, 2-4 minutes. Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted, 30-60 seconds. Serve immediately, passing extra fish sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes and vinegar to add as desired.

Serve with steamed rice and vegetables, if desired.

To freeze:

Complete all steps through step #3. Place cooked basil-shallot mixture in freezer bag and add uncooked chicken and freeze. Freeze reserved basil-fish sauce separately.

To cook from frozen:

Cut sauce out of bag prior to thawing. Thaw chicken mixture in refrigerator. Place in warmed non-stick skillet and follow instructions in step #4.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wild Salmon with Mustard Glaze

For the Salmon:
6 pieces of salmon fillets with skin on (6-8 ounces)
1 TBS olive oil or melted butter
coarse salt and pepper

For the Glaze:

4 tsps toasted yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup mayo (I used a bit less)
1/3 cup grainy mustard
1 TBS chopped fresh dill
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper

Run your fingers over the meat side of the salmon and pull out any bones you feel. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and then blot dry with paper towels. Brush the skin side of the fish with oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Prepare the glaze in a non reactive mixing bowl whisking together all ingredients. Spoon the glaze evenly over the salmon and wrap in foil. At this point I double wrapped in foil and froze.

To Cook from Frozen: Do not thaw. Pull out of freezer and remove one layer of foil. Pierce the other foil a few times with a fork on both sides. Grill on medium hot for around 15 minutes turning one time. Center should be opaque when done.

If you were doing this recipe with out freezing you would now set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium heat. When ready to cook brush and oil the grill grate. Spoon glaze over evenly. Cover and grill about 12 to 15 minutes, the skin will become crisp.